Scripps College Announces Three Endowed Chairs for 2019

The Scripps College Board of Trustees has announced the appointments of Ken Gonzales-Day, professor of art, to the Fletcher Jones Chair in Art, Julia Liss, professor of history, to the Mary W. Johnson and J. Stanley Johnson Professorship in the Humanities, and Sheila Walker, professor of psychology, to the inaugural appointment of the Laura Vausbinder Hockett Endowed Professorship, effective July 1, 2019.

The Fletcher Jones Chair in Art was endowed to honor and provide support for a “distinguished scholar and one so recognized among their peers.” Appointed to Scripps in 1995, Professor Ken Gonzales-Day has been actively engaged in service to the College, as past chair of the art department and as a member of several committees, including the Core steering committee, Faculty Executive Committee (FEC), and Appointments, Promotions, and Tenure Committee (APT). He is an affiliated member of Claremont Graduate University’s Art Program, Intercollegiate Media Studies, and Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Professor Gonzales-Day has been recognized with numerous awards and accolades, including the Mary W. Johnson Faculty Achievement Award in both research and teaching, Mellon and National Endowment for the Arts Awards, and, in 2017, a prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship in Photography. He teaches a range of art classes, specializing in photography, and contributes regularly to the Core program, teaching Core I and the Core III course “The Mechanical Eye.” His solo and group artwork exhibitions, widely reviewed in leading media outlets, have been held at numerous renowned arts institutions, including the J. Paul Getty Museum, the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., and the National Museum of Natural History in Paris. His public art commissions are on display throughout Los Angeles, and his work is in collections that include the Getty Research Institute, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the L’Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Professor Gonzales-Day has also had multiple residencies, the most recent in 2014, as the Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship at the National Portrait Gallery.

The Mary W. Johnson and J. Stanley Johnson Professorship in the Humanities was “designed to honor and support a central, distinctive, and definitional component of the Scripps education—engaging students in interdisciplinary humanities studies in the classroom and beyond.” Professor Julia Liss was appointed to Scripps in 1989 and promoted to full professor in 2005. She is active in the history department and also contributes to American studies and the Core Program, teaching in Core I and III. She has chaired the history department and American studies program, been elected by her faculty colleagues as a member of and chair to the FEC and to the APT and served as assistant director of Core II. As director of the Humanities Institute, she increased engagement among students, faculty, and staff significantly during her tenure. Professor Liss’ areas of expertise are in American intellectual and cultural history, history of anthropology, and history of American social thought. Her publications include articles on Franz Boas as a public intellectual and the science and politics of race in the work of Boas and W.E.B. Du Bois. She also serves on the editorial advisory board for the Franz Boas Papers. Professor Liss has received numerous honors and awards, including Mary W. Johnson Faculty Achievement Awards for service, teaching, and research, a Fulbright senior lectureship at the University of Bologna, and, most recently, the Bernard and Audre Rapoport Fellowship at the Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives. She also stepped in on behalf of the College to serve as the interim Dean of Faculty during the 2015-16 academic year.

The Laura Vausbinder Hockett Endowed Professorship was designated to “support and honor an existing professor who is deemed most deserving.” Professor Sheila Walker was appointed to Scripps in 1993 and promoted to full professor in 2007. An active member of the psychology department and current chair of the Intercollegiate Department of Africana Studies, she has also served on the APT committee. She received the Faculty Member of the Year Award from the Office of Black Student Affairs and has been awarded the Mary W. Johnson Faculty Achievement Award in service and in teaching, multiple times. She has been an affiliate of the Intercollegiate Department of Africana Studies since her arrival at Scripps. She has served as chair for 10 years and will be continuing in this role, recognizing her insight, professional acumen, and leadership expertise to move the program/department forward in a positive manner. Professor Walker’s courses include Child Development, Native American Psychology, and Psychology of the Black Woman. This academic year, Professor Walker was honored by her faculty colleagues with a Mary W. Johnson Faculty Excellence Award in scholarship. Her most recent book, African American Girls and the Construction of Identity: Class, Race, and Gender, published in 2018, has made important advances in a topic central to her discipline in addition to garnering positive reviews.

Through these appointments, Scripps College recognizes Professors Ken Gonzales-Day, Julia Liss, and Sheila Walker for their teaching, scholarship, and service to the College.  Congratulations to all three of these faculty!